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2021-01-14 08:42:17
Augustus de Morgan [Mathematics]
Mathematician Augustus de Morgan Ridicules Flying Machines
1857. Brilliant mathematician who made important contributions to the study of algebra and logic. Autograph letter signed. 4 pages. 7.25" x 4.5" inches. No place. December 6th 1857. To Miss [Anna] Blackwell. An interesting letter in which Augustus De Morgan talks about (and ridicules) some recent designs for flying machines and speculates on whether heavier than air manned flight will ever be achieved. He illustrates the letter with his own amusing drawings. "I have read your MSS, according to promise, and regret to say that I have no heavenly hopes excited by M[onsieur] Petin. It seems to me that his mechanics are as opposed to the common notions on which the Menai tunnel was built, and the locomotives made to go through it, as his mathematics to the way in which Euclid and Newton thought. His ideas about a point multiplied by itself producing a line etc are purely elementary misconceptions of some of the language used by mathematicians - and show him to be not even in the outer court of that temple. His mechanics seem to me as strange. I should take issue on the question of the machine blowing itself up in the air by directing a current on an oblique sail or wing. According to M. Petin, if a man could but blow hard enough he could blow himself up into the air by holding out a looking-glass obliquely and blowing against it. [inserted here is an amusing drawing captioned: M. Petin inventor of the pneumatic ascent into heaven - Grief of the Devil thereat - and wonder of the heavenly host]. Any person who was but commonly acquainted with mechanics would have seen so much … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: Max Rambod Inc. [United States]
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